Exercising outdoors on a hot day is likely to make you feel all sweaty and thirsty. While you sip on chilled water and wipe the sweat off your brow, spare a thought for your canine buddy. How do they take on heat? While you see them panting wildly you do not notice a single trace of sweat on them. A thought does come into mind, do dogs sweat?
Well, dogs do sweat but is only a small part of the process they use in cooling themselves when they feel hot. As compared with humans, dogs do not cope well in taking care of themselves during extreme temperatures. Why is why they need our help in cooling them down or keeping them warm.
Where do dogs sweat?
Dogs produce sweat only in certain areas of their bodies. They basically have two types of sweat glands:
- Merocrine glands – These glands are found in their paw pads. It activates when your dog feels hot to help them cool down. This is why you will notice their paw prints on the ground during hot days.
- Apocrine glands – The function of this gland is to help your pet release pheromones and not to cool them down. These glands are situated all over their body and helps to recognise other dogs by scent.
Why do dogs pant?
As you can see sweat plays a minute role in cooling down your furry buddy. Dogs pant to regulate their body temperature. When they pant, they evaporate the moisture from their tongues and the linings of their lungs which cools them as air passes over the moist tissue. They also rely on vasodilation to help them cool off by expansion of blood vessels in their ears and face. As the blood vessels expand, the bring the blood closer to the surface thereby regulating their internal body temperature.
Does fur make dogs hot?
Wearing a warm sweater during the peak of summer will undoubtedly make you feel like you are baking in an oven. On the other hand, your pet’s fur actually acts as an insulator. Which keeps them hot or cool depending on the room temperature.
Sometimes the insulating layer during extremely hot conditions will not help to cool the dog’s body. If a dog gets very hot it means that it will take them a long time to cool down as compared to furless humans. Dogs that have thick coats like the German Shepherd and Saint Bernard are well insulated than dogs with thinner coats like the Greyhound or Shih Tzu. This is why short haired and single coated dogs can tolerate heat and not cold.
Keeping your dog cold or warm
As dogs are unable to help themselves cool down effectively during extreme temperatures we can help them do so by controlling their environment. During summer, make sure your pet has access to clean water and the house is cool enough for them. If they love resting outdoors then find them a cool shady area and remember to never leave them unattended in your car during summer as they can easily succumb to heat stroke.
During winter make sure your pet stays warm indoors and limit their exposure to cold temperatures. Exercising your dog is very important as it helps them to build a strong body.